Friday 31 January 2014

Window Cleaning News

A spot of window cleaning: Maritime Museum, Lingang New City, China.
A window cleaner passes a lighter to his colleague while rappelling from a new building in Tianjin.
Smoking Really Is Nearly Inescapable in China: On the sidewalk, in a hospital, directly in front of a "No Smoking" sign. Smokers are a nearly inescapable part of life in China, though the government is trying to change that. Earlier this week, China's Ministry of Education banned smoking in public schools. To enforce the rule, schools must now install smoke alarms or surveillance cameras to spot violators. They'll also have to stop selling tobacco products at their canteens, and can't accept sponsorships or ads from cigarette companies. Universities can no longer allow smoking inside academic buildings, though they can maintain designated smoking areas on campus. It's only the latest in a string of efforts to curb the nation's smoking habit. Though citywide bans are rarely observed or enforced, China also announced plans to ban smoking on all public property nationwide at some point this year.

Window washers deal with bitter cold temperatures - Despite the dangerously cold temperatures, some still have to work outside and the particularly unlucky ones also have to deal with water. Any job that requires you to work with water is going to be particularly hazardous in this extreme cold, but not even window washers got a break on Monday. Nathan Elston, of Sapphire Window Cleaning and Power Washing, said there are two components to getting through a day like today. The first is layers. "I have a pair of thermals on, and then I have my Sapphire polo shirt on and then a hoody on after that," said Elston.
The second is protecting your hands from the water. "If you get it on your hands, especially when it's this cold, it's gonna freeze and it's gonna be miserable. You know, once your hands get wet you're miserable. So, you just try to keep your gloves as dry as possible," he said. But waking up to see a temperature of minus 2 degrees, "I didn't want to get out of bed this morning. It was pretty chilly. But once you get started, you just crank the heat up in the truck and you just try not to think about it," he said.
Elston says this weather isn't enough to make him hate his job. "Actually, no. It sounds weird: I love window washing. But, yeah, you kind of second guess yourself," he said. But it's the paycheck that helps him to wipe away the doubt. Fortunately for Elston, none of his jobs today involved going up high-rises so he didn't have too much trouble with the wind.
People cleaning up after massive winter storm in Northeast: PHILADELPHIA - People in the Midwest and Northeast are now cleaning up after this week's massive winter storm that canceled thousands of flights across the country. At the iconic Apple store on 5th Avenue, one of the giant window panes cracked. A snow plow accidentally rammed into it. It's going to cost almost half a million dollars to fix. The large glass panel was part of Apple's distinctive '"cube" store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The estimated cost to repair it is $450,000, according to 9to5Mac.

NOLA: The greatest event to take place every year in the window cleaning and pressure washing world. It is hosted by the Provincial Hotel in amazing New Orleans LA. Awesome Speakers, and amazing atmosphere. The event is held to only 75 people, so those who go are a lucky few! Put on by Thad from the PWRA. If you want to learn how to be a fast window cleaner, join the window cleaning speed contest. If you want to improve your business, this event is for you!
Firefighters in the North Coast region are on alert with high temperatures and low humidity forecast for the next few days. The mercury is expected to rise to 38 degrees in Gympie today and 39 tomorrow. The director of operations for the Rural Fire Service, Peter Varley, says firefighters have contained all current blazes but will continue to monitor them. "There's none of them that are out of control at this stage," he said. "We've had water-bombing aircraft working on a couple of those fires over the last few days. "So at the moment we are pretty happy with where they are but we'll certainly be keeping an eye on them."
He says the extreme weather conditions are perfect for fires to ignite and spread quickly. "The three things that make things worse for us, and high temperatures that's one of them, the other is low humidity and then of course the winds behind it as well," he said. "Fortunately those winds are looking pretty good but those temperatures are certainly going to be high today and Wednesday."
Outdoor tradesmen are doing what they can to schedule their workloads outside the extreme heat of the day. Sunshine Coast window washer Cullen Ball says starting early is essential. "I usually start at around five o'clock, try to get the jobs done, earlier if we have to, sometimes we have to travel to Brisbane, so sometimes I'll leave at four if I have to," he said. "Just whatever really to get the job done, before the heat kicks in, can't get the work done then."

Jakarta Stays Alert Despite Floods Receding on Thursday: An officer cleans the window panes of a bank in Jatinegara, East Jakarta, on Jan. 23, 2014, after floods inundated the area and forced the bank to close for days. Jakarta began to dry out on Thursday after days of heavy rain and floods soaked large swaths of the Indonesian capital.
The floodwaters had receded in most areas and displaced residents began to filter back home to begin the long cleanup. But just as life looked like it would return to normal, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) warned of heavy rains and floods Thursday evening.
“They’ve begun cleaning their houses, although many of them immediately returned to shelters when they heard reports of incoming floods,” said Bambang Musyawardana, the head of the Jakarta office of the BNPB.
The UK government said it will save £1.5 billion by managing contracts more effectively, for example “through reducing wasteful energy consumption and through the public sector sharing in savings on insurance”. It will also make efficient use of space from subletting or mothballing surplus building space. The third step the government will be taking is to “review soft service requirements so that the public sector does not buy more than it needs when specifying facilities management such as window cleaning and frequency of decoration”.
Green activists pose as cleaners to scale corporate highrise, unfurl protest banner (MUMBAI): Twelve Greenpeace activists in tiger costumes scaled the headquarters of a corporate giant at Mahalaxmi and spent five hours dangling off the skyscraper to put up a huge banner to protest against allocation of a coal block that allegedly threatens forest land and endangers the livelihood of villagers dependent on it. The protesters gained access to the top of Essar's corporate office highrise posing as window cleaners, and unfurled a giant banner around 2pm, which read 'We Kill Forests: Essar'.
Essar stated on its website: "In a blatant and anarchic act of trespassing, some people, at the behest of Greenpeace, masqueraded as building cleaning agents and gained access to the Essar office in Mumbai. In this illegal act, the trespassers misused the office premises to spread anti-corporate, misleading and false propaganda."

Payoff for Highly Insulating Windows Takes Decades - While comfort and other benefits are more immediate, it takes two decades or more for the triple-pane highly insulating windows to pay off financially based on utility-bill savings, according to a report by energy efficiency experts at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). For this study, the PNNL team studied the effect of replacing aluminum-frame double-pane windows, which are common in homes across the country, with newer, triple-pane windows, also known as highly insulating windows. The team found that the newer highly insulating windows saved, on average, 5,821 watt-hours per day (W·h/day) or 279.5 kilowatt hours (kW·h) over the 70 days of the experiment.
The overall whole-house energy savings were 11.6% ± 1.53% over the 70 day period. But because of the cost of the highly insulating windows, it would take anywhere from 23 to 55 years for the reduced energy cost to make up for the increased expense. “A savings of 12 percent on whole-house energy consumption is substantial, especially when you’re talking about changing a relatively small percentage of a home’s envelope,” said Parker, a founder of the Lab Homes project. “But the windows are expensive.” The team notes that there are many other factors to consider in addition to money when deciding whether to install highly insulating windows.

The MIT system uses nanoparticles embedded into a transparent material that can be fitted to any window or glass. These particles are tuned to scatter certain wavelengths, colours or lights in order to display the moving image, pictured, while letting other wavelengths pass through.
The sticker that turns any window into a PROJECTOR SCREEN: Scientists create transparent adhesive film that shows moving images - Transparent displays may seem like the kind of features found exclusively on high-end devices such as Google Glass, but researchers from Massachusetts plan to change all that. A team of graduates from MIT have developed see-through displays that can be applied as a thin plastic coating on any window or piece of glass, including lenses. Moving images can be then be projected onto these displays and the designers claim they are easier to make, and could cost significantly less, than current technology on the market.
Many current ‘heads-up’ display systems use a mirror or beam-splitter to project an image directly into the user’s eyes. This makes the display appear to be hovering in space. However, because the image is beamed at a set angle, the range of view is limited and viewers must be stood in the right spot to see the image clearly. With MIT’s new system, the image appears on the glass itself, and can be seen from a wide range of angles.
Similarly, other transparent displays are limited because they use electronics, including LEDs and transparent circuits, that are built directly into the display. This limits the level of transparency, for example. The secret of MIT’s system is that nanoparticles are embedded into the transparent material that are tuned to only scatter certain wavelengths, colours or lights, while letting other wavelengths pass through. This means the glass remains transparent enough to see the colours and shapes clearly.
The particles could be incorporated in a thin, inexpensive plastic coating applied to the glass, in a similar way to how tinting is applied to car windows. To demonstrate the system, the team projected a blue image in front of a scene containing cups of several colours, all of which can clearly be seen through the projected image. While the team's demonstration used silver nanoparticles, approximately 60 nanometres wide, to produce the blue image, researchers claim it should be possible to create a full-colour display using the same principle.
‘The glass will look almost perfectly transparent,’ said MIT Professor Marin Soljačić, ‘because most light is not of that precise wavelength.' He added that scattering allows the projected image to be seen in much the same way that smoke in the air can reveal the presence of a laser beam passing through it. Such displays might be used, for example, to project images onto store windows without obstructing the window displays, or to more accurately display directions via a heads-up display onto the windshields of cars and planes.
Soljačić added that his group’s demonstration is just a proof-of-concept, and that much work remains to optimize the performance of the system.  The system is described in a paper published this week in the journal Nature Communications, co-authored by Professor Soljačić, colleague Professor John Joannopoulos, graduate student Chia Wei Hsu, and four others.

New SOM building sparks controversy: Some residents have expressed concern over the modern design of the building in light of the more traditional architecture in the area previously. Although Foster had stated publicly that the extensive use of glass was intended to facilitate connection and encourage transparency, some locals remain unconvinced. “[Evans Hall] got the ‘Eye Sore architecture Award’ from Trump Enterprises, and the ‘Classy Glass Building Award from Pyrex,’” Hamilton said. “Window Washers of the World salute you.”
Since the construction was not in a historic district, Yale was not subject to local preservation laws in the building’s construction, New Haven Preservation Services Officer of the New Haven Preservation Trust John Herzan said. Yale was determined to proceed and shared a different vision than the New Haven Preservation Trust, he continued. Some residents wanted to see Yale incorporate the old building into the final design to protect what some residents argued were parts of New Haven’s history. “The lesson Yale could have taught is to think of preservation as a part of what management should be about,” Ahern said. “The greatest building is the one that is already built.”

How to get fit whilst you clean - Cleaning whether you enjoy it or not is a chore, pure and simple, but it's also a great weight loss tool. Perfect if you really loathe exercise. A survey by Betta Living revealed that the average UK adult spends 8 hours per week Cleaning and tidying and has the potential to wipe away 1lb in weight per week without forking out extortionate gym costs. We clock up 30.5 ‘mop miles’ a year when mopping and vacuuming, and scale the equivalent of a small mountain climbing the stairs and ladders during a 12-month period of being house-proud. But according to the research, which questioned 2,000 UK adults, the majority of us aren’t stretching ourselves to our full fat burning potential and are missing out on crucial calorie cutting as we dust, sweep and polish our homes because we’re doing it in short bursts and also not really ‘going for it’.
Window and laundry squats - perform squats while cleaning windows, lifting the washing basket or when cleaning inside your kitchen cupboards. Squat low to the ground (feet shoulder width apart, back straight, sitting down into your bottom) to get water on your cloth, and then stretch up high moving arms in a circular motion to sculpt your shoulders!  This will give your arms and legs the perfect dual Workout.

Lenoir man builds earth berm home: Ehlers built his basement house on land he already owned, and he did much of the work himself. He hired a licensed electrician and a plumber, but he did all the framing himself. Together, he and his wife did the roofing. The house is set 8 feet into the ground — the walls, pre-made, were essentially lowered into a house-sized hole in the ground. During the day, tubular skylights fill the home with natural light; it doesn’t feel dark or underground until a normal house would: At night. People have questions about the house when they visit, but it wasn’t designed to be an oddity. Ehlers, who works as a commercial window cleaner for a living and sometimes rides his unicycle through downtown Lenoir between jobs, describes it as “a low-tech way to have an energy-efficient house.”
Solicitor: 100 block of Prospect Avenue. A window cleaner reportedly dropped off literature after cleaning windows in the area at 11:26 a.m. Police talked to the window cleaner’s supervisor who promised to pick up the worker a few minutes later.

The surge in digital hitchhiking has been slammed as highly dangerous by Queensland police. Thomas Jones, 25, a window cleaner from Brisbane CBD this week posted an ad in classifieds offering a lift to the Gold Coast. "That is what people are doing these days to help with the cost of going on a holiday. Petrol costs are really high and I have found that you can meet interesting fun people. I don't worry about the dangers, I like to believe there are a lot more good people than bad in the world,'' he said. Jo Hall manager of Chill Backpackers in Brisbane told the Courier Mail that they do not recommend lift sharing. "It is our policy for security reasons not to post any ads on notice boards for people looking to share cars,'' she said.

Boy, 2, was 'roughhousing' before crashing through window, falling 17 stories to death (EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio) — The 2-year-old boy who fell to his death from a 17-story window on Monday was roughhousing with his 3-year-old brother shortly before his mother heard glass shattering, reports stated on Tuesday. The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner ruled the death an accident Tuesday, concluding that Alijah R. Glenn crashed through a floor-to-ceiling window Monday at the Crystal Tower apartments on Terrace Road. The child's death left those who knew the family saddened and Crystal Tower residents wondering if more safety features could have prevented the tragedy.
Two residents said on Tuesday they were concerned about the safety of the windows in the building. Experts on Ohio's building code say the code requires floor-to-ceiling windows on high-rises to be more fortified than other windows, but that it doesn't require the glass to be unbreakable. Experts said windows must have "safety glass" that is strong enough to withstand wind and debris. Ron Gerome, an independent housing inspector in Cleveland and Medina, said the safety glass required is similar to a windshield. "Safety glass is something that when it breaks it shatters," said Gerome, the owner of Signature Home Inspection. "There's plastic in between to protect you. If you break it, it falls into thousands of pieces so it doesn't cause any extra injury." Crystal Tower property manager K&D's corporate attorney Mark Schildhouse said the company inspects all their properties at least once a year. He said he was unsure if the company was planning to make any changes to the windows or alert residents of a potential danger.

NUEVO ITALIA, Mexico – The thousands of federal police and military troops who have descended on the troubled Mexican state of Michoacan have been busy arresting suspected drug cartel members, disarming untrustworthy local police officers and standing guard on street corners of its tiny towns, assault rifles at the ready.
The troop buildup has so far deterred the region’s vigilante “self-defense” groups from broadening their fight against the powerful Knights Templar drug cartel and helped President Enrique Peña Nieto avert a domestic disaster. Pictured: Members of a peasant group battling a drug cartel take their positions after arriving in the town of Nueva Italia
But the risk of violence remained high Thursday in the agricultural region known as Tierra Caliente, or Hot Land. Late Wednesday, shots were fired at the office of the federal prosecutor in the city of Apatzingan, according to the news service Quadratin. A 25-year-old window washer was injured.
The filing deadline for the Urban County Council district races and three at-large seats is Jan. 28. Several incumbent members and first-time candidates filed to run during the past week. They include: Michael Stuart, a small-business owner and longtime community volunteer, in the 2nd District, which extends from the west end of downtown to Masterson Station and surrounding neighborhoods. Stuart, who serves on the LexArts board of directors, was president and board member of the Living Arts & Science Center for seven years. He volunteers for the West End Alliance. Stuart, 34, has owned a window-cleaning business for 13 years.

Marion Stuart, a prominent African-American entrepreneur in Indianapolis and one of the few surviving community leaders from the World War II era, has died. Stuart, founder of Stuart’s Household Moving & Storage Co., passed away Jan. 23 at the age of 97. Stuart formed his company in 1936, during the Great Depression, the worst economic crisis in United States history. In what became an inspiring story of success, he overcame economic and racial diversity to build one of the state’s most stable enterprises.
Born in Indianapolis, Marion Henry Byrd Stuart was the second child of nine born to Dr. William Weir Stuart and Mae Lewellyn Stokes Stuart. Stuart came from an enterprising family. His father was a dentist, and his brothers, Charles and Joseph, were co-founders of Stuart Mortuary. At an early age, however, Stuart realized he could not take his family’s stability for granted, and sought ways to generate an income of his own. He embarked on entrepreneurial efforts at a time when individuals could not rely on much government assistance and pervasive racism was found even in Northern cities such as Indianapolis.
In a 2011 interview with the Recorder, the Crispus Attucks High School graduate recalled how he once worked several jobs, including cleaning up a haberdashery (shop with clothing materials) on Monument Circle for $3.80 a week. He and a friend then formed a window washing enterprise for stores on Pennsylvania Street. “We washed windows in the morning, and I would go back and trim windows at night,” Stuart said. “Back then you could go in places and request work. You didn’t have people standing around waiting for someone to give them a loan. You did whatever work you could find and worked hard.”
Chris Eichler, 29, of Yakima died Thursday at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital. Mr. Eichler was born in Yakima. He worked as a high-rise window washer for Intermountain Cleaning Service. Survivors include his fiancee, Jennifer Bales of Yakima; two daughters, Mackenzie Eichler and Maycee Eichler, both of Yakima; his mother, Janice Moss of Yakima; his father, David Eichler of Wenatchee; three sisters, Dana Stokes of Issaquah, Dyanna Harrington of Yakima and Coreen Moss of Des Moines; a brother, Evan Eichler of Wenatchee; and his grandparents, Floyd and Janita Overacker of Wapato.

John J. Long Jr. of Warrington died Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014. He was 86. He was the husband of 59 years to Annabelle J. (Brown) Long. Born in Parsons, Pa., he was the son of the late John J. and Agnes (Davitt) Long Sr.
Mr. Long was a U.S. Army Veteran. He was employed with the U.S. Postal Service in Hatboro, and retired as postmaster of Horsham. John also founded LWC Services and was affectionately known in Hatboro as John the Window Cleaner.
Relatives and friends may call from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday and from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Friday at Louis Swift Plunkett Funeral Home, 529 N. York Rd., Hatboro. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Joseph's Church, Columbia Ave. and Easton Rd., Warrington, PA 18976. Interment will be in Whitemarsh Memorial Park, Horsham.

Second Defendant Pleads Not Guilty In Eastport Home Invasion Murder - Matthew D. Rooney, 22, of East Moriches pleaded not guilty to a single count of second-degree murder and first-degree assault before Judge Ambro on Thursday afternoon and was remanded to the Suffolk County Jail without bail. He appeared in court with his brother and parents, who all refused to comment to The Press, on the advice of Mr. Rooney’s attorney, Pietrina Reda of Merrick. Ms. Reda said during the arraignment that her client disputed the allegations against him. She declined to comment further outside the courtroom.
Ms. Newcombe, the lead prosecutor, said that while Mr. Batterson was the one who pulled the trigger, Mr. Rooney was also armed and took part in the robbery, and present at the time of the murder. She said the two were friends, but would not comment further on their relationship. Both Mr. Batterson and Mr. Rooney admitted to others that they were involved in the incident, Ms. Newcombe said during both of Thursday’s arraignments. Both defendants face 25 years to life in prison if convicted of the crimes. Mr. Burke noted that Mr. Batterson (pictured) lived with his parents and worked as a carpenter and window washer prior to his arrest earlier this month.
Four men have admitted being involved in a major drug dealing operation in West Lothian. Ryan Mayberry, Patrick McKervey, Hugh McAnna and Gordon Stewart were all arrested in 2012 following a police surveillance operation. The High Court in Edinburgh heard almost £2m of cannabis and amphetamine was seized in the operation. All four men admitted being concerned in the supply of drugs. Sentence was deferred. Mayberry was later stopped by traffic officers and found to be carrying more than £7,000 in cash. He claimed the money was from the sale of a window cleaning business and he was travelling south to buy a vehicle.

Thursday 30 January 2014

Californian Window Cleaners Liens

This bill would allow an employee to file a pre-judgment lien for the full amount of any wages. Bill Would Authorize Pre-Judgment Wage Liens On Real And Personal Property Of Employers And Third Parties: I often say that to be an employer in California is to be sued.  California is litigious and its labor (and other) laws are maddingly complex.  Last spring, Assembly Member Bonnie Lowenthal submitted a bill, AB 1164, that would add to the woes, not just of employers, but also of any person who has property upon which an employee has “bestowed labor”.  This bill would allow an employee to file a pre-judgment lien for the full amount of any wages, other compensation, and related penalties and damages owed to the employee.

It’s hard to imagine any property owner who at some time doesn’t have third party employees performing work on their property.  For example, a building owner may contract with a third party for window washing service.  If enacted, the bill would allow any employee of the contractor to lien the building owner’s real and personal property.  Of course, a building owner or other business is likely to have scores of contractors performing labor and thus could face a continuing barrage of employee liens.

Homeowners are allowed limited exemptions.  In the case of an employer, the lien would apply to the employer’s principal residence only to the extent that the employee provided labor to the benefit of that household or residence.  In the case of third party owners, the lien does not apply to a claim relating to property bought or services furnished primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, including those benefiting any real property that is the principal residence of the owner.

Importantly, the proposed employee lien would lack many of the limitations and procedural safeguards that apply to mechanics liens.  If enacted, I foresee an ocean of misery for California property owners, including interference with financings and costly litigation to remove liens.  For those inclined to worry about AB 1164 only if it should become law, that doesn’t appear to be unlikely.  It has already passed out of three committees in the Assembly (Judiciary, Labor & Employment, and Appropriations).
About the Author (Keith Paul Bishop - Partner) Keith Paul Bishop is a partner in Allen Matkins' Corporate and Securities practice group, and works out of the Orange County office. He represents clients in a wide range of corporate transactions, including public and private securities offerings of debt and equity, mergers and acquisitions, proxy contests and tender offers, corporate governance matters and federal and state securities laws (including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the Dodd-Frank Act), investment adviser, financial services regulation, and California administrative law. He regularly advises clients on compliance.

Wednesday 29 January 2014

Window Cleaners Good Deed Goes A Long Way

A penned letter left by LTM cleaning.
Community-minded cleaning firm come to aid of Sleaford restaurant after spit found on window - A cleaning business showed its community spirit after someone spat on the window of a Sleaford restaurant. On Thursday, The Little Italy Pizza Co, in Mill Court, posted a photograph on a Facebook page dedicated to Sleaford of spit on its window.

It called on the offender to clean up the mess or see CCTV images of them posted online, saying they had more pressing matters than cleaning up after “vile individuals such as this”. However, by the following morning, LTM Cleaning had taken action. In a letter left at the restaurant, the firm said: “After reading yesterday about what one disgusting person did to your windows I decided to clean them myself because that is just not on. “You have done very well to build what is a community business, getting people to interact with one and other and building links and friendships.”

The Little Italy Pizza Co, which later found the offender had escaped its CCTV cameras, shared an image of the letter on the Facebook page, earning LTM Cleaning widespread acclaim. One Facebook user Georgina Carter said: “It’s reassuring to know that there are still some good hearted people around. Too often we hear about those who constantly take, destroy or behave in otherwise socially unacceptable ways, so to see this is great. Well done LTM may this good deed come back to you many fold.”

Tuesday 28 January 2014

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New product - get it now!
Winsol Awning Fabric Spot Remover is designed to remove grease and tar from fabric awnings. The safe blend of emulsifiers and degreasers will also remove paint, ink, soot and bird droppings from fabric awnings. Pour a small amount directly onto the spot or stain and scrub gently with a soft brush or cloth then rinse clean. Use caution using this product on logos or lettering as it may remove or some artwork. 

Monday 27 January 2014

UK To Get Smaller Windows & Less Ladder Regulation

Those for the chop include rules on windows that have a ‘dirty window factor’ imposed.
PM's attack on red tape to help house-builders: Coalition to make it easier for homes with smaller windows and rooms to be built
  • Red tape to be cut as government seeks to build 100,000 new homes
  • Coalition is set to abolish 3,000 separate regulations, with 800 already axed
  • Regulations for bigger windows and larger room sizes to be scrapped also
David Cameron will today signal plans to slash building regulations in order to make it easier to build new homes with smaller rooms and windows. The Prime Minister will spell out how the volumes of red tape affecting housebuilders will be cut from 100 to ten as the Government seeks to build 100,000 new homes a year. But that means regulations imposed by some councils insisting on bigger windows and larger minimum room sizes will also be scrapped.

Mr Cameron will use a speech to the Federation of Small Businesses to reveal that the Coalition will be the first government in modern history to leave office with fewer domestic regulations than when it entered – saving businesses more than £850million a year. In total, the coalition is set to abolish 3,000 separate regulations by the time of the election next year, with 800 already axed.

Mr Cameron will say: ‘Supporting business is a crucial part of our long-term economic plan, creating jobs and security for all. 'That is why I have insisted on slashing needless regulation. We will also help house builders by cutting down 100 overlapping and confusing standards applied to new homes to less than ten.’

Minimum standards spelt out in building regulations, which deal with safety, energy efficiency and the minimum legal size of rooms, will remain in force. But the Department for Communities and Local Government is to tear up a long list of unofficial regulations drawn up by individual councils. Some will be standardised and others abolished altogether.

Those for the chop include rules on windows that have a ‘dirty window factor’ imposed – bigger sizes to allow for dirt to accumulate rather than assuming people will have the common sense to clean them to let more light in. It also includes rules requiring rainwater harvesting in places that do not suffer from water shortages, demands for solar and wind energy sources that cannot physically fit on to the roofs of apartment buildings, and stipulations for multiple phone lines in home offices.

But critics of the Government’s attempts to liberalise the planning regime are likely to view the move as another move towards a planning free-for-all. Figures from the Royal Institution Of Chartered Surveyors show the average British home has shrunk by 40 per cent in 80 years.

In his speech, Mr Cameron will also detail how the Government is taking an axe to health and safety rules. He will say: ‘We will scrap overzealous rules which dictate how to use a ladder at work or what no-smoking signs must look like. ‘We’ve changed the law so that businesses are no longer automatically liable for an accident that isn’t their fault.

‘Employees used to be able to sue their employer if they were insulted by a customer. We’ve changed the Equality Act to stop that. Shopkeepers used to need a poison licence to sell oven cleaner – we’re scrapping that. ‘And as of earlier this month we have scrapped the ridiculous rule that childminders who give food to children have to register as a food business as well as a childminder.’

And he will point out that by March 2015 the Department for Environment will have slashed 80,000 pages of environmental guidance, saving businesses around £100million per year.  Mike Cherry, national policy chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses, said: ‘The current situation is too complex for most to understand.’

Prime Minister David Cameron, chats with workers during a visit to a small building site in Buckshaw Village in Chorley, Lancashire. He will promise to scrap “needless” health and safety regulations dictating how to use ladders.
Mr Cameron will tell the Federation of Small Business that his will be the first Government in modern history to leave office with fewer regulations than when it entered, saving firms £850m a year. He will promise to scrap “needless” health and safety regulations dictating how to use ladders and what non-smoking signs should look like. The forthcoming Deregulation Bill will make one million self-employed people exempt from health and safety altogether. the Prime Minister will say. “This will make it easier for you to grow, to create jobs and to help give this country the long-term security we are working towards. More than 1.3m new jobs have been created since I came to office – many of them by small businesses. And I know many of you want to grow further – or may be thinking of employing your first person - but have been put off or held back by red tape.” He will also announce 80,000 pages of so-called “green tape” environmental regulations will be ditched by March 2015, saving firms £100m a year.

Friday 24 January 2014

Testing Glass Coating Products

Eliminate all traces of certain hydrophobic glass coatings.
Testing Glass Coating Products (written by Henry Grover Jr): We are professionals in what we do. So if we are to sell a coating application for window glass we should be able to explain with confidence how long the application will last, and under what conditions it will degrade. We also should be able to define exactly what the benefits will be to the customer. Because it is these benefits that we are selling. There are many different competing products out there. Some of them the customer has direct access to at the local Walmart. Others are now made available on brand new windows, shower doors, and mirrors. We should be concerned with these competing products. Since we will have to offer something better. We will have to offer a personal and professional guarantee.

Longevity is a concern. Some products will wear off in a single day. Others will last for a month. Then there are some that are advertised to last for six months. I have a running test on one that goes back ten years. On dark glass even. It is the suns UVC radiation that is mostly responsible for degrading coatings. Which by the way can be either hydrophobic or hydrophillic. As is demonstrated by the picture above this is determined by the size of water drops. A hydrophillic surface will show much larger drops. If you were to sell a coating as a professional applicator you absolutely would not want to tell the customer the brand name of the product used. In my opinion. The reason is very simple and plain. Each product out there has its own unique advantages. One advantage might be scratch resistance, another longevity, another hydrophylicity, and yet another is resistance to alkali degradation by mineral deposits/hard water spots. If I were to sell a coating application service at a substantial price, I would need direct personal experience with it. So that I could guarantee that it will do what I am applying it for. Sometimes it is possible to demonstrate the application. Such as the hydrophobic/hydrophillic balance. Or scratch resistance. Or even alkali degradation. Longevity is probably the most difficult. Unless you had a very powerful UVC lamp.

Lets look at alkali attack. I have proven that alkali attack at 9 to 9.5 pH will effectively eliminate all traces of certain hydrophobic glass coatings. Simply by putting small two inch droppings of concrete on a test plate treated by the coating in question. Leave the concrete on the horizontal test plate for a full 24 hours then remove. By running the plate under the tap it will become instantly apparent whether the coating has stood up to attack. Hard water reaches a very high pH the last few minutes of a water drops life as the water poofs away. Leaving behind mineral deposits. This high pH is what degrades the coating causing the mineral deposits to cling to the glass surface. If someone hires us to keep spots from sticking to their glass this kind of information would be helpful. But not absolute! We can only be absolutely confident (and get the bigger buck) by proving to the customer that our service will keep spots from sticking to their glass. This can only be done by means of a timed test. If the spots are coming from the efflorescence of the buildings exterior façade the option of diverting the sprinkler heads doesn’t exist.

What about scratching? I developed a very simple test for scratching. Definitely not an ASTM test. Where I just coated one side of a mirror with the product in question. Then I took a broken piece of glass and purposely tried to scratch the entire surface. One product I tested stood out. All other products failed really bad. My first question after this discovery was, will this product stand up to sand in the wind on a windshield? So;...I duplicated sand in the wind by performing a side by side test using a sandblaster set on low. It failed completely. You might look for independent studies done on certain products you are thinking of buying. My advice here however is to buy the product, or get a piece of glass in the mail that has been treated with the product you are thinking of buying, and test it yourself. Believe in your own ability to figure it out. It is your own personal confidence in the service that you are offering that will sell it. Every time!

Henry Grover Jr is currently involved in R&D writing. He writes a column for the Window Cleaning Business Owner magazine called SURFACES, and manages a sub-forum for the Window Cleaning Resource with the same title SURFACES. He is also working in developing what he calls custom products for both the Window Cleaning Industry and others involved in the maintenance, restoration, and preservation of window glass. He has given seminars in the past on glass stain removal/identification techniques, wrote tech articles for the American Window Cleaner Magazine, traveled for consulting work on several famous buildings, and worked in the capacity of a consultant for many window cleaning companies in different parts of the US. 

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Thursday 23 January 2014

Another Window Cleaning Fall To Death & Rescue

An Indonesian domestic helper plunged to her death on Thursday morning while wiping windows in a 27th-floor public housing flat in Wong Tai Sin.
An Indonesian domestic helper plunged to her death on Thursday morning while wiping windows in a 27th-floor public housing flat in Wong Tai Sin. The woman, 28, accidentally fell out of a kitchen window at Cheung Yuen House, Chuk Yuen North estate, at about 9.30am and landed on the first-floor podium of the building, police said. The maid was declared dead at the scene, a police spokesman said. “Her 87-year-old female employer told police that the maid fell down by accident while cleaning windows in the kitchen,” a police officer said. An initial investigation found nothing suspicious, he said. It is believed that the woman arrived in Hong Kong for work earlier this month. The city has seen similar domestic accidents involving foreign helpers. 

Policemen set up a perimeter at the residence of the woman who allegedly tortured Indonesian maid Erwiana Sulistyaningsih in Hong Kong January 21, 2014. A foreign maid died today after she fell from a high-rise while cleaning windows.
In August, an Indonesian domestic helper, 32, and an 18-month-old boy fell from a 19th-floor flat in Yau Tong. Police believed the maid was carrying the toddler as she collected laundry from a clothing rack outside the window, but lost her balance. In February 2011, an Indonesian helper, 35, fell out of a 22nd-floor flat while cleaning a window in a Sha Tin flat. She landed on a podium and was declared dead at Prince of Wales Hospital. The city is home to 300,000 domestic helpers, mostly from Indonesia or the Philippines.

Law Wan-tung, 2nd left, who has been charged with two counts of wounding, one count of common assault and three counts of criminal intimidation, walks next to her husband, 2nd right, as they leave a court in Hong Kong on January 22, 2014.
Maid falls to death in Hong Kong: A foreign domestic helper aged 28 died on Thursday after falling from a residential building in Hong Kong, police said. They said the helper, whose name and nationality were not given, fell from a building in the Wong Tai Sin district onto a concrete canopy and was certified dead when officers arrived. “It is understood that she fell off while cleaning windows in a flat,” a police statement said, adding the death was not being treated as suspicious.
There have been a series of such deaths over the years in Hong Kong, where most people live in high-rise apartment blocks. Last August an 18-month-old boy and an Indonesian domestic helper fell to their deaths from the 19th-floor flat where they lived. Police said the helper was collecting clothes from a drying rack outside the window. Conditions for the city's 300 000 domestic helpers - mostly from Indonesia or the Philippines - have come under the spotlight recently following cases of abuse. A Hong Kong mother-of-two was charged on Wednesday with a serious assault on her Indonesian domestic helper. Last September a couple were jailed for savagely beating another Indonesian helper.

An undated photograph provided by her family and released by Indonesia's Migrant Care on January 22, 2014 shows Indonesian maid Erwiana Sulistyaningsih (L) and the same girl sitting in a wheelchair (R) at a hospital in the Sragen.'Tortured' Indonesian maid welcomes arrest:  A woman accused of torturing her former maid was arrested at Hong Kong airport while attempting to board a flight to Thailand. An Indonesian maid has welcomed the arrest of her former Hong Kong employer, who is accused of torturing her, saying she is willing to return to the city to testify in a case that sparked angry protests.

The ex-employer, a Hong Kong mother-of-two, was arrested on Monday and charged two days later with assaulting Erwiana Sulistyaningsih and two other Indonesian maids, after thousands of domestic workers marched in the city to call for justice. "I'm happy. I had hoped the employer would be arrested," 23-year-old Sulistyaningsih told Hong Kong-based Cable Television in an interview broadcast on Thursday. Law Wan-tung, 44, is accused of causing grievous bodily harm to Sulistyaningsih, who is now undergoing hospital treatment in her home country.

Law, who was arrested at Hong Kong airport while attempting to board a flight to Thailand, was also charged with common assault and four counts of criminal intimidation - charges related either to Sulistyaningsih or to her two previous Indonesian domestic helpers. Prosecutors allege that Law turned household items such as a mop, a ruler and a clothes hanger into "weapons" against Sulistyaningsih. "If I get better, I will go back to Hong Kong," Sulistyaningsih told Cable TV from her hospital bed, adding she was unaware her former employer had allegedly abused two other maids.

The Hong Kong broadcaster said she would return to the city to testify in the case but her father has previously said he would not let his daughter return to work overseas. "Looking at how bad the conditions are working abroad, who would?" Rohmat Saputro said. While Sulistyaningsih's situation has improved and is now able to sit up, she remains bedridden and still suffers from headaches and dizziness, according to media reports.

One of her doctors in Indonesia said she was unable to walk following the mistreatment, which included having her head smashed repeatedly against a wall. Amnesty International in November condemned the "slavery-like" conditions faced by thousands of Indonesian domestic helpers in Hong Kong and accused authorities of "inexcusable" inaction.

Elsewhere in Hong Kong, a domestic helper died on Thursday after falling from a residential building. Police said the 28-year-old helper, whose name and nationality were not given, fell from a building in the Wong Tai Sin district onto a concrete canopy and was certified dead when officers arrived. "It is understood that she fell off while cleaning windows in a flat," a police statement said, adding the death was not being treated as suspicious. Last August, an 18-month-old boy and an Indonesian domestic helper fell to their deaths from the 19th-floor flat where they lived. Police said the helper was collecting clothes from a drying rack outside the window.
Stranded window washer rescued on United Plaza Blvd. (Baton Rouge) - The first two fire trucks arrived at 10:41 a.m. and found that the rig, called a bosun’s chair, had jammed, spokesman Eldon Ledoux said. After a ladder truck arrived with a ladder capable of extending up to 107 feet, a firefighter climbed up to the stranded worker, attached the worker’s safety harness to the ladder and helped him down, Ledoux said. “Although, no special or technical rescue techniques were utilized, the equipment and personnel on scene were capable of such a rescue, if needed,” Ledoux said. 

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